Many moons ago, I had small children. Heaps of them. It was chaos. Pets, children, their friends, our friends, sport Saturdays, the endless amount of mess. And the food! So much food. I think back on it and wonder how? How was there enough energy to do it all? Was I really that young?
As mother's day approaches, this commercially labelled day with its expectations of clean homes, happy children, and perfect gifts, I remember. I remember my first mother's day, my second, the first one after my mother died. Yet there is always that one mother's day. The one that floats to the surface. Every time. We all have one.
I share with you mine, from many moons ago.
They are making me breakfast in bed. Clattering, whispering, shushing. They fight as they do, one crying and slamming doors, the other cajoling and bargaining. The living-yet-dying one moans in her room, she needs her meds; but it's mum's day and I want their surprise. I fall back to sleep, amongst the chaos of the morning, awakened by my girls bearing breakfast, tea, and cookies.
They smile and glow with treasured health. They are so much older than when I could bring them to my knee, bask in their presence, hold their trust. The youngest is brought in, sleepily holding her head, smelling of the night. My boy joins us; anger and righteousness fizzled away, bringing his energy, his laughter, his instance.
They are all here. Together. A smelly dog, two cats, and four children piled on my bed. Sharing my breakfast. Dropping crumbs, spilling tea, planning my day. Jumping. Laughing. It's all I need today. Any day, really.
For one day I will be a mum-left-with-three and if I'm lucky, I will die as such.
And so I remember. On mother's day. Any day, really.